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The Lying Game Hardcover – December 7, 2010

254 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Lying Games Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Identical twins who have never met, a mean-girl crowd with more money than morals, a stoic foster kid, and a beyond-the-grave narrator all propel readers into a roller-coaster ride of physical and emotional challenges in this first book in a new series. Foster kid Emma, two weeks shy of her eighteenth birthday, discovers she has a twin named Sutton and runs away from Las Vegas to meet her in Tucson. Sutton, however, seems to have been killed during the making of a snuff film. Narrating from the afterlife, Sutton cannot remember exactly who killed her, or much else about her life, as she watches her living twin try to solve the mystery. Shepard does a fast and thorough job of getting readers to suspend disbelief and go along for an adventure through a nasty underbelly of adolescent peer pressure and rebellion. Only toward the end does it become apparent that the platform is being prepared for the launch of a forthcoming second volume. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith


“The Lying Game is a stay–up–past–your–bedtime type of thriller…full of amazingly believable plot twists and turns.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))

“A fun and fast–moving mystery…[readers] will race through the pages as Emma pieces together clues and will have plenty to ponder as they anticipate the next installment.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A thrilling mystery with just the right doses of romance and danger.” (School Library Journal)

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Product Details

  • Series: Lying Game (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061869708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061869709
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Hello! I'm from outside Philadelphia, lived in New York for a long time, Arizona for less time, and now I'm in Pittsburgh, PA, which is way nicer than it sounds.

I've always been a writer. I made up stories about my sister's blanket, BeeBee, when I was four. From there I wrote about squareheaded creatures, an environmental saga about little yellow men who live in vegetable gardens, teenage dramas well before I was a teenager, a book series about a Japanese girl who finds out her ancestors are samaurai (and she must be one, too), a bunch of arty short stories, and some books that maybe you've heard of. The PRETTY LITTLE LIARS series is based on my experiences there...kind of. Sort of a hyperbolic version of them. Plus some random stuff thrown in.

I've also written THE LYING GAME, which is about a dead twin and an alive twin, THE HEIRESSES, which is about a rich family's curse, and THE PERFECTIONISTS, which is about five somewhat strangers who get everything they wanted...but that comes at a price. I wrote THE VISIBLES, which is about jackalopes and mental illness, and EVERYTHING WE EVER WANTED, which features a guy who discovers his ex lives on a commune.

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#71 in Books > Teens
#71 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By S. Power TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the Lying game Emma finds herself stepping into the life of Sutton, her long lost (and dead) twin sister after seeing a video of a snuff film starring Sutton placed on the internet. The novel is narrated by the dead Sutton (who doesn't remember much of her life) who watches as Emma tries to find out who killed her. The matter is complicated by The Lying Game which is popular with Sutton and her friends which involves cruel pranks that often include making the victim feel as though she is the victim of a crime.

The Lying Game is by the author of Pretty Little Liars which is one of the novels that has been packaged by HarperTeen for multiple media distribution. The book reads like a TV show (and the TV show is already in pre-production) and is a very entertaining and fast read. The mystery is intriguing but does not resolve at the end of the book (all of the characters are still suspects) there is a bit of resolution regarding a clue but the reader is still left a bit unsatisfied with the ending. The back cover (of my ARC) presents the novel as part Pretty Little Liars and part Lovely bones and honestly that's giving far more credit than the novel should get. The book is fun and trashy but can't be compared with a novel like The Lovely Bones (although if you can use this to convince your child that she should read The Lovely Bones then go for it).

Appropriateness: This is one of those books that will give conservative parents lots of worry. There is plenty of sex talk (although no actual sex), lots of drinking (complete with drinking games), criminal activity, mean girl bullying and even a bit of drug use.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Bex @ Aurelia {Lit} on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really, really wanted to like this book...

I haven't read Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series, but the television spin-off became one of my guilty summer obsessions. Come on. It's fun to escape to a world filled with beautiful, haunted, wealthy teens. Especially teens who were full of delicious, dangerous secrets. The show's characters kept me tuned in because they were pretty, yes - but also dimensional and flawed and I wasn't quite sure what they were going to do next.

When The Lying Game was released a few weeks ago, I was kind of excited. I thought it would give me a chance to get to know some more of Shepard's great characters on a more intimate level, and follow them from the start of a new series. I'm pretty sure that's what the publisher was banking on (especially with the entirely unoriginal name tie-in) because on it's own, The Lying Game is so very far from fabulous, I can't even imagine her character's recommending it.

Let me just back up and give a short synopsis: Seventeen year old Emma has just been kicked out of her last foster home when she finds out she has an identical twin sister living in the next state. Well, not exactly living. Sutton, who appears as a ghostly narrator in the story, has just been murdered, and when Emma takes a road-trip to meet her long-lost twin she finds herself pulled into her sister's life and searching for clues to explain her death.

Doesn't sound like a bad concept, right? It's really not. In fact, the first part of the book had me hooked. I'm learning about Emma's slightly clichéd but still fairly interesting life. I'm digging her affection for journaling about comebacks she should have used and writing news headlines for her life.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fiktshun on December 23, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Sutton Mercer is a bad girl. Or at least she was. Until someone killed her. Someone she knew. A friend? Her sister Laurel? Clearly she messed with the wrong person and now the only hope she has to find out the truth is with Emma, an identical twin sister she never knew she had. One she hadn't even met until after she died.

But for Emma to discover just what happened she'll have to fool everyone into believing that she is Sutton. Emma, a girl who doesn't like to drink or to lie, and who has faced hardships that Sutton never had, will have to step into her Marc Jacobs strappy shoes and become the ultimate "mean girl" in order to uncover the identity of Sutton's killer.

And if Sutton could give her one piece of advice from the grave it would be to: "Always sleep with one eye open. Never take anything for granted. Your best friends might just be your enemies."

The Lying Game is a wickedly entertaining read. Almost all of the characters have a dark side and have the potential to have played a role in Sutton's death - including the recently deceased Sutton Mercer herself. And as the story unfolds the mystery continues to grow, as with every question that is answered, a new one takes its place.

The story moves quickly first page to last. And author Sara Shepard's clever use of the first-person narrative allows readers to get a peek at what's happening with both Sutton and Emma throughout - the only drawback being that it is easy to get caught up in Emma's story and the switch to Sutton's point of view can come as a bit of a surprise.
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